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Ranger Update


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Ranger had an abdominal ultrasound yesterday that really didn't show much but possibly some thickening in the bowl. The Vet that did the ultrasound and my own Vet said it looked pretty good, really, and that bowel area could just be some irritation, etc. The next step would be biopsies of the kidney and liver. I spoke to my Vet about this and we both agree that would be costly, traumatic and may still show nothing definitive and we are opting not to go that route on a 12-year old dog.


For now, he wants me to keep him on the Pepcid 2 x a day and possibly switch to a fish and potato diet. I've been feeding him the canned ID with some chicken and brown rice and a little of his kibble. He has actually eaten two good meals yesterday and one so far today.


My Vet also mentioned putting him on Enalapril, I think he said and said it may help the kidney function. Anyone ever use that medication?


I did mention the possibility of a TBD and he said the lab probably still has the serum so he can order it but he doubts very much that is the case, esp living here and being at home all the time and us having him for over 8 years now. I guess I'll have him check it.


I'm wondering how many here have actually had dogs show up with TBD after several years of no symptoms or history of having a TBD.


I also talked to him about doing another Thyroid test and sending it to Dr. Dodds. He said we can do that. Think we should?????? His thyroid was a little low. He also said he could put him on some thyroid meds and see what happens.


Any feedback?


Oh boy.

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The T4 you get from a regular blood panel isn't a useful test for thyroid. It can be 0 one hour, 2.0 the next, etc. If he doesn't have symptoms, I don't know why you'd run the test.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I already posted about Phoenix in your other thread. I adopted him in Canada, and he was a bounce, meaning that he had been away from the tracks in the US for quite before he came to live with me. I had him tested and he was positive for babesia. One of the reasons why I had him tested was because a local greyhound had passed away from an undiagnosed/untreated TBD.

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I can't help you with anything but the enalapril. It's a good drug with little side effects. My Pearl had heart disease and hypertension and was on it for 5 yrs. She had no problem with it. Onyx is on it for her kidneys. She's not having any problems either.


It's also not expensive either.

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In response to your question, we had Shane for four years before finding Babesia at age 7. We hadn't suspected it because he hadn't raced in any areas big on TBD's, nor are they rampant in our state. However, we found that he'd been born and raised in Oklahoma! (But really, track dogs cross paths with lots of other dogs who've been lots of other places and brought a tick or two with them. So we shouldn't relax if our dogs only raced in KS or WV!)


He DID have symptoms but we didn't recognize them as such. There were years of just-not-rightness, where he just seemed sub-optimal. He overheated easily, panted at those times, and sometimes took two hours to return to normal. Once an episode of acute pain of undetermined origin caused his heart rate to go to 180. His ears were always very warm. He sometimes fatigued quickly. His kidney and liver values were mildly elevated. None of these things caused any of our vets to suggest testing for TBD's or anything else. But he was getting worse. Finally, for lack of any better idea -- and because we learned that he was raised in OK -- we had him TBD tested. He was low-positive for Babesia. With treatment most of the problems disappeared. The symptoms that remained seemed to my vet to suggest Erlichia, which the TBD panel had not included. We treated that with doxy, and the rest of the symptoms went away. He's a much happier hound, and it was money and effort well-spent.


The problem with saying someone has "no symptoms" -- no matter what ailment is being discussed -- is that the classic symptoms are often the things that happen when the disease/disorder is *very advanced*! (Go ahead and Google the symptoms of canine Babesia, for instance, and you'll see what I mean.) Further, not all symptoms present typically; in hypothyroidism, for instance, you can have low weight or weight loss rather than overweight. For your doctor to assume that treating it would cause further weight loss is not necessarily correct. The throat clearing is very suggestive, as well, though not usually mentioned or looked for as a symptom of hypothyroidism in animals; most doctors don't even seem to realize its significance in humans! Also, as the metabolism slows with age, the blood circulates more slowly and kidney function therefore becomes less efficient. Sometimes animals with some degree of kidney disease develop higher BP, which is the body's attempt to circulate the blood faster and help the kidneys out. Then a BP med like Enalapril is eventually needed to bring the BP back down. If Ranger's BP isn't significantly elevated, there is no reason to use Enalapril. It doesn't treat kidney problems per se! Oh, and I wanted to add that hypothyroidism can involve heart palpitations and irregularities. IIRC that was another of Ranger's symptoms.


So I'm suggesting you might go ahead and do a thyroid panel and a check for TBD's. They are relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. And I would emphasize that symptoms can vary widely, and we may not recognize them for what they are, nor may our vets/doctors recognize any but the most common symptoms. But I wouldn't treat a 12-year-old with thyroid medicine without running a complete panel first, because that might do him harm if thyroid isn't the problem.


Sorry if I've gone on and on, but I just want to help with such hard-earned info as I have. Really hope you and Ranger can get this sorted out. Surely you're both feeling a bit lost in all this. Been there, done that, so you have my every good wish. :bighug

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Your vet may want to contact Protatek Labs. They are in Arizona and have been doing testing for TBD and Valley Fever for many years. I don't know if Dr. Cynthia Holland is still the contact there or not, but she was a wealth of information about the various TBD years ago, so you or your vet may get some answers from her. I believe they also used to offer a reduced rate for TBD testing on greyhounds.

Paula & her pups--Paneer (WW Outlook Ladd), Kira & Rhett (the whippets)
Forever in my heart...Tinsel (Born's Bounder - 11/9/90-12/18/01), Piper, Chevy, Keno, Zuma, Little One, Phaelin & Winnie
Greyhound Adoption Center ~ So Cal rep for Whippet Rescue And Placement

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